DRIVERS LOG: Audi A4 Cabriolet, Volvo S60R

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Dr. Woo, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    2004 Audi A4 Cabriolet CVT
    Date in Fleet: June 12-24
    As-Tested Price: $46,685
    Powertrain: 3.0 Liter V6; fwd, CVT
    HP: 220 @ 6300 RPM
    Torque: 221 @ 3200 RPM
    Curb Weight: 3814 pounds

    HART: It could be an easy car to live with, but oh, does that convertible top really take up back-seat space. Call it the cost of open-top driving.

    It feels heavier than the 350 additional pounds it carries courtesy of ragtop-frame strengthening. This is not a sports car; rather, it's a sporty-looking car. I had this at Michigan International Speedway for a charity dinner and it got lots of looks. Audi convertibles - other than the TT Roadster - are a rarity. In this price range, that's good.

    I like the CVT, and this is clearly the best one we've yet sampled. You must recalibrate your senses but after a while you realize it works well. And just how regimented - German - is it to build in the steps in the shifting for use in the automanual?

    This is a lot of dough for basically what is a two-seater with a little back-seat space. On the plus side, you won't see one on every street corner, and you get all the good Audi stuff (less Quattro) in a convertible.

    NOTE: Quattro will be available on the Cabriolet next model year. :big grin:

    RAYNAL: Here's my list of things I dislike about the A4 Cabrio:

    Okay, with that out of the way, here's the good stuff: It is gorgeous to look at. It is beautifully built. It is as solid a front-drive convertible as I remember having ever driven. Everything inside is where it should be located. The engine provides plenty of power and the CVT is smooth, smooth, smooth.

    This was a wonderful tourer over a sunny, warm weekend. Putting the top down and cruising was a pleasure. Top up and it is fairly quiet inside for a ragtop. The chassis remained solid over pockmarked streets. The engine, while no screamer, provided ample power, and I really liked it mated to this transmission - it's smoother than a standard auto trans and gets better mileage (the computer says I averaged around 25 mpg on the weekend). It doesn't feel light on its feet, but it is pleasant to drive.

    It's way cooler than the TT.

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    2004 Volvo S60R
    Date in Fleet: June 12-26
    As-Tested Price: $40,055
    Powertrain: 2.5 liter turbocharged I5; awd, six-speed manual
    HP: 300 @ 5500 RPM
    Torque: 295 @ 1950-5250 RPM
    Curb Weight: 3571 pounds

    STOLL: It has good acceleration without the well-known Swedish turbo lag. The engine sound is too Volvo-conservative for my tastes, but it sports a mild growl when revs peak toward redline. Even with this performance tuning, the steering needs work; returning to center requires more effort than perhaps is necessary.

    Volvo does a great job aesthetically on the interior. Accoutrements such as abundant leather usage and convenient stow spaces are a step in the right direction, and those metallic-blue gauge backs are the nicest I've seen in a long time.

    GRITZINGER: There's plenty of power and little turbo lag. But lift the throttle and something in the electronic brain says, "Let's just hold these revs a little longer, 'cuz this driver would much rather have smooth deceleration than the abrupt one his right foot called for." It's disconcerting when you lift the throttle and the car keeps going as if nothing happened. At first, it made me cram on the brakes in case the throttle was never going to let up. Weird.

    I like the interior styling - the retro-mod (if you can say that) shifter and the cool blue gauges. I think the exterior needs one fix: exhaust outlets ported to each side of the rear fascia, instead of the pair in one corner. Add chrome tips and it would look slick.

    FLOYD: I'm of two minds about this tricked-out R car. On one of my minds I dig its overall style, although it's a bit too understated to me for a performance variant. The rims are awesome. It has a well-appointed interior with great seats, cool gauge work, slightly bizarre shifter and console setup. On my other mind, although it has a really strong mill, I just can't get into how Volvos handle. Yes, the suspension modes help tighten up the ride some and awd is nice to have as well, but it's not a world-class handler in my mind - although it's definitely the best of the Volvos I've driven.

    AutoWeek, July 14, 2003
     
  2. Doodie head

    Doodie head i have no legs

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    since it'll be with quattro next year, is it going to tip the scale at 4000 pounds? that'll be one heavy ass cabrio
     
  3. frinky23

    frinky23 Bangle Sackrider

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    Quattro adds about 150 pounds on the A4 sedan, so yeah, this one is going to be a few pounds shy of 4000. What can you do? Audi doesn't build tin cans. Safety is not an option.
     
  4. boostdemon

    boostdemon New Member

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    both are bad ass cars. but too much $$$ :(
     
  5. curiousgeorgeM3

    curiousgeorgeM3 naughty little monkey

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    I wish Audi would make an A4 coupe that wasn't a cabrio.
     
  6. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    It's coming.
     
  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Gotta love the R. :drool:
     
  8. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    Those new Volvos are very sexy. I've started to see them around, and I must say, Ford has done a very good job for once.
     
  9. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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  10. Dr. Woo

    Dr. Woo Guns don't kill people

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    That'd be cool as hell. I don't see why not, seeing as Audi is trying to compete more directly with BMW with the S4 sedan.
     
  11. Omega6_Virus

    Omega6_Virus New Member

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    You probably know this, but at Swedespeed, this was posted:
    "From today's[7-1-03] CBS Marketwatch:
    By unit, Ford brand sales fell 6.6 percent in June; Mercury fell 36 percent; Lincoln rose 5 percent; Jaguar fell 4 percent; Volvo rose 22 percent; and Land Rover fell 16 percent.

    And more detail from Quicken site:

    By brand, Ford sales fell 6.6% to 257,598; Mercury sales fell 36% to 17,517; Jaguar fell 4% to 5,182, and Land Rover fell 16% to 3,369. The Lincoln and Volvo brands posted increases for the month, with Lincoln up 5% at 14,247 and Volvo rising 22% to 13,339.

    June was the eighth month in a row of higher sales at Volvo. Ford, the No. 2 auto maker after General Motors Corp. (GM, news), said Volvo retailers are on pace to set a new calendar year sales record in 2003 as first-half sales came to 67,522 -- up 25% from the year-earlier period."
     
  12. Penguin Man

    Penguin Man Protect Your Digital Liberties

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    :cool: I hadn't heard that.
     

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